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The Symington Family declare 2016 Vintage Port 5/23/2018

The Symington Family declare 2016 Vintage Port

The Symington family is pleased to announce its decision to declare 2016 as a Vintage Port year. This is only the fourth Vintage declaration for all its Port companies since 2000 and the first since the magnificent 2011’s. Few wine regions anywhere restrict Vintage Years with such meticulous care and only truly exceptional Ports are declared in this way.

The 2015/16 winter was wetter than average, which provided a vital counterbalance to the hot Douro summer. Damp weather continued into May, which caused considerable fruit loss to the unwary. From June, normal service was resumed, and August was very warm although some welcome rain fell on some days. More heat ushered in September, and some started picking although it was clear to those who were properly monitoring their vines that the grapes were not ready. Furthermore, the long-range forecast predicted showers and sure enough invaluable rain fell mid-September.

This was the year to read the signs and to take risks; Charles Symington, head winemaker, delayed harvesting until the 19th September and the best Touriga Nacional was not harvested until the 26th, and the late-ripening Touriga Franca only during the first ten days of October. The greatest 2016 Symington Ports were made during this later period under lovely blue skies. It is not easy in an incredibly diverse region to pick grapes at exactly the right time, especially when yields are amongst the lowest in the world at 26 hectolitres/ha, with high risk of dehydration and when many producers rely on bought grapes and are therefore dependent on farmers for picking. All the 2016 Symington Vintage Ports are made from its own Quinta vineyards where Charles and his viticulture team can be seen every day tasting and analysing grapes throughout August and September. All Vintage Ports were made in five small lagar wineries, using the classic treading method for great Port.

The 2016 Vintage Ports are exceptional with tannins that are amongst the most refined ever, supporting beautiful red-fruit flavours with extraordinary intense, purple colour. They have impressive structure and balance, with Baumés, acidity, tannins and colour in rare and perfect alignment. This is no doubt a result of the later ripening cycle which allowed the grapes to mature evenly and completely. Production of each of its 2016 Vintage Ports is approximately 1/5th below the previous declared Vintage following rigorous selection in the tasting room. 

Farsons Beverage Imports Company (FBIC) Limited proudly imports and distributes Symington Family Estates’ brands Graham’s and Cockburn’s locally. Available in selected restaurants, wine boutiques and Farsonsdirect in Mriehel (www.farsonsdirect.com).